Email Address: eli.dial@myldsmail.net

Friday, August 18, 2017

Dogs

Hola, friends and family!  How's it all going?

This week has been pretty epic!  I'll start off with the pictures:  This is our guard dog when we are in East Housing of To'hajiilee. We call him Buster. He prepares the way for us.  



This second picture is our stalker stray dog, but we like to think he's making sure that we don't have a sneak attack from behind.  We're well protected when we're in East Housing, even without the dog treats that Elder Cornelison bought. XD



This next picture should tell you how missionary work can drain someone.  That is my companion, taking a nap as we drive. Nothing out of the ordinary right?  Look at his hands.  He's holding the phone, but it's open.  Yes, with how much we drive in this area, it's easy to fall asleep. But, he's so tired, that he fell asleep while he was texting someone; he was in the middle of the text!



Now on to the business that I know you all are just dying to hear:  the work of the Lord.  

It's been epic.  We talked to a less active lady that lives in Seama in Laguna- (Seama's the village that we know the least amount of people) and she had said to our relief society that we could be the home teachers, but that didn't work out. Turns out that she wanted to tell us not to come back or anything, and to tell us that God is not all-powerful, because if He were, He wouldn't need us missionaries to be His helpers.  If God really could do anything and everything He would just pop down here on earth and tell us which church was true and we would have world peace and we wouldn't have to live "in hell" as she said.  While she was saying all this I was listening, politely paying attention, and she then told me that I was too quiet and that she doesn't like that.  So she proceeded to tell me that "whatever you want to say, say it."  Naturally, I bore testimony to her that God puts all this bad in the world because He's helping us fulfill the commandment to "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect" and that we can't be perfect without His help. That because He is an all-powerful God He can help us to fulfill that commandment. If He weren't an all-powerful God Phillipians 4:13 and Luke 1:37 would both be false statements, and things like that.  It was cool to me because it helped me to recognize that as we listen the words will naturally flow out of from our mouths. :)

We are helping a former less active, who is now fully active and has a calling to teach relief society, named Verna, to go to the temple, she's looking for her own family names and is preparing for the first week in September.  Because she was baptized within the last two years, we would be able to go with her!  Woot! Woot!  (That second one was the echo, Bodie ;)

We found a new investigator this week, which is a pretty cool story because we were going to talk to her kids (her family has been taught before and is very difficult to meet with).  She ended up inviting us in and told us that she didn't have time to read "the Bible we gave her" (She meant the Book of Mormon)  and proceeded to ask us that whenever we came by if we would be willing to read it to her and help her understand then she would make time for it.  So we read the intro and all three testimonies in the Book of Mormon to her, and it was really cool!  She lives in San Fidel, which is in the west portion of our area.  Twas pretty sweet!

Lastly, we have a bunch of people who have difficulties forgiving people for things that were said but not meant.  How can we help people to forgive one another? Any suggestions would be awesome!


Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Hump day!

(Sorry this is late, Elder Dial sent this email August 7th)

Hola, people of Earth that are on my email list!  How's it been going?  Everything has been going pretty fantastic down here in the New Mexico Sauna.
First picture: the camel.  His name is Humphrey. He is passed down through the missionaries, but only to missionaries who are about to hit their halfway mark, which, among missionaries, is known as Hump Day.  My zone leader, Elder Nelson who has been out for 6 weeks longer than me, gave me Humphrey. My "hump day" is almost here. 


Second picture:  It's been raining a lot this past week, and multiple times we've been in a position where we could see the whole rainbow. Here's the middle part of it for you. :)


Transfer news: Elder Cornelison and I are staying here in Laguna.  I'll be here for 5 transfers at least, which is the average that people are out here in this area. :)
This week has been pretty legit, we've been meeting with the branch presidents of our branches so that we can work together with them more and be more effective in this area. It's going to be amazing in this area!
We are going to start teaching at the local rehab this week, it's going to be a lot of fun!
The work is moving forward down here, and I know that it is up there as well, so why not be a part of it?  I love you all, and don't forget who you are!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Thus begins week 6 of transfer 8

(Sorry this is late, Elder Dial sent this email out on July 31st)

Wasabi, friends, family and fellow missionaries!
This week has been a swell week!  So swell, that I don't remember what happened. XD
We had zone conference this last week, on Friday and it was pretty sweet!  We were able to hear a lot of what the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles would like us to do as a mission, and we were able to learn the we have a member of the 70 coming for a mission tour this fall/winter/sometime soonish. XD
We went on exchanges this last week with Elder Snow and with Elder Woods, (Elder Snow came out to Laguna with me) and it was pretty cool!  I took Elder Snow to Sky City, which is a sacred village that is on top of a mesa in Acoma (we're not allowed to go on top of the mesa, but we're allowed to go see it from a distance [well, we're kinda allowed to do that]), and it is intense (no, no in tents, but intense ;)
The Seama feast was this last week, it was pretty cool!  That was my second feast that I've been to, and it was legit!  I hope that I'm here for one more transfer, because if I am, then I would be blessed to go on top of the mesa known as Sky City for a feast.  :D
We had the opportunity yesterday to listen to four returned missionaries give talks in sacrament meeting (2 per branch) and it was really swell!  One of them said a poem that I memorized and wrote down:

"I tried to find myself
Myself I could not see.
I tried to find my God,
My God eluded me.
I tried to find my brother,
And then I found all three."
If you want things to work out in your life, if you want God to help you in your life, go serve others!  Pray as if everything depends on the Lord, and go out and [serve others] as if everything depends on you!  If you serve others with a prayer in your heart, everything is going to work out!  Fare thee all well!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Day of Pioneering

Good morning, everyone!  The world says hello!

This week has been pretty incredible!  It started off that we made salsa at Becky's (Becky's an investigator, she's one of the grandma's that us missionaries adopt while we're here).  Then, we had the Bible Study the next day.  That was awesome, we talked about Christ teaching the Samaritan woman at the well, it was really good!  We went to a relief society activity this week, bread making, and we had nine sisters there!  I know, most of you are thinking, "whoop-dee-doo, nine women there, congrats"  but only three were active members, one less-active, and five non-members!  FIVE. Needless to say, we were pretty stoked! As part of that, one of the active members is moving to Utah, and she was cleaning out her house so she brought some stuff to give away to whoever wanted it...  Becky decided to take a doll...  Long story short, her name is Daisy Dial and I am now a single father. How do you like our family picture?  It was pretty impromptu, they didn't even let me get up from my chair.  XD  (Don't worry, Daisy is in the care of her adopted great-grandma, she's doing fine.)


On Friday, my companion decided to take a challenge that our zone leader gave...  He ate a whole jar of peanut butter for lunch.  That picture is him, with how much peanut butter he would put on the spoon at one time.  What was his prize for doing this gargantuan task? 
A twinkie.  He won a twinkie.  (He doesn't even like twinkies, so his victory tasted pretty good to me. XD) 



With today being Pioneer Day, they both decided to have branch activities to celebrate... last Saturday. We were in Laguna from 11-2, then we helped clean up, to go to To'hajiilee and help set up for theirs from 4-7, then we helped clean that up.  It was a lot of fun, but pretty tiring being outside for the better part of eight straight hours.  The fun part was that To'hajiilee's was a basketball fun day, because the concrete of the basketball court outside got redone, so we played basketball with some kids for two hours (from about 5-7pm), in our proselyting clothes, but tennis shoes instead. 
Then, yesterday we gave talks in To'hajiilee branch, it was pretty good!  We were given our topics/stories to speak on, so we prepared talks... and then we get there, and the member of the branch presidency who asked us to talk says something like this, "The missionaries are our speakers today, and they're going to share with us more about pioneers through the topics they were given."  -_-  Elder Cornelison and I: "... Hey, Elder, do you know how pioneers fit into my talk??"  There were some last minute preparations made, that's for sure. XD
Don't ever give up, Jesus Christ has never given up hope in you, so don't ever give up hope in yourself!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pioneer Day and Fasting

Hola, yateeh friends and family!
For the pictures, with Pioneer day next week, I took a picture of the Mayflower for the sake of the Pilgrims. You're welcome. ;)  The next one is our AC unit... somehow, it froze.  It was so frozen it was singing, "Let it Go".  That made for some really warm nights.  XD  The third picture is of a sign they have here, I've been waiting for 4 months to finally get that picture, and I finally did!  I thought it was pretty fantastic, so you can enjoy the same thing that I have. :)



As for this week, it has flown by!  I don't really remember what happened this week.  So I'll tell you about this coming week: both branches are having a Pioneer Day celebration on Saturday, one branch at 11-2 and the other one from 4-7.  We'll be feasting like kings on that day, which is good because of something else we realized. 
When Elder Torres of the Authority 70 came to the Laguna Branch, he invited the branch to do a month long fast- the way they do that is one family takes one day, then another family does another day, and so on and so forth until the month is up.  They are fasting for missionary opportunities, and for Elder Cornelison and I specifically.  The branch asked us to have one or two days, so we did. We signed up for July 26th.  Guess what's on July 26th?  A flipping feast day!  We are going to be fasting on one of the few days in a year when free food is offered, when we can walk into any house and talk with people [not proselyte, but talk with people] (if we do that, we have to take food, otherwise it's an insult) and we'll be fasting!  That's alright, we're still going to go and learn more about the culture, and visit with the people that we do know or that talk to us first.  We'll do what it takes to help out this branch, though, so we are going to do it willingly. :)

I don't really know what else to say, but know that it was an awesome week, and that God gives us trials, not to weigh us down, but as tools to lift us up!  So rise up and be strong! You were put on this earth to succeed, not to fail!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

America's Birthday

This past week has been pretty swell!   We went on exchanges with the Cottonwood Heights Elders, Elder Snow and Elder Woods, it was a lot of fun, Elder Woods is a beast and knows how to do missionary work!
Elder Cornelison and I are going through the people that we are teaching and striving to teach them the lessons, because I haven't taught many people the lessons while I've been here- and this will help us to be able to find those who are prepared to receive the gospel in this area!
At this point, I don't really know what has happened this week, besides the anniversary of America being born, which is awesome!  (Not me forgetting what happened, but that America was born ;)
This week in my personal study a lot of things have gone back to the fact that is shared in the greatest throw-down in the Book of Mormon: Alma 5.

"38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd."

I believe that there are no coincidences.  I believe there is a difference between hearing and listening.  We hear the teacher talking, but we listen when he says the word "test".  That is the difference.  A lot of people (even members of the church) can hear Christ calling us- they even sing about it (Hymn #6 "Israel, Israel, God is Calling")  but we're not quite listening. Who's to blame us? There are many things in the world that are distracting *cough cough* smartphones *cough cough*.  Christ is calling us each in the same way; it's tailored to what we- specifically you and I- need.  But sometimes, when we're not listening, we have the nerve to tell people which way we want them to go, but not where Christ needs them to go.  That is one of the difficulties of this life: accepting that God needs us to go where God needs us to go, and accepting that maybe, just maybe, He needs us to walk a slightly different path from each other, but to get us where He needs us to go.  So, don't try and tell someone what to do or where they need to go, because you can't hear what Christ is telling them to do, where to go, or how to jump over that wall that you can't see is holding them back.  I don't know if this is making sense to you, but the gist is to come to terms that not everything is in His hands, so relax, trust Him, and do what you can to help others on their path to Him. 
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Happy Independence Day-but at least it's not resurgence!

Happy birthday in June to:
Halle
and if there was anybody else, let me know, because I don't really remember June at all!!

As for the rest of the week, I was doing fine. I was doing fine with being senior companion, taking over the area and all was going swell.  Then Friday came, and we almost died.  That picture of the dog? That is the equivalent to the Beast from The Sandlot. 



Except for the detail that if you saved his life he'd still want to kill you.  He's usually on a chain that just barely doesn't reach the porch.  He's the guard dog for three less-active kids, and he will usually try to kill us. The trick is to carry a rock and toss it up and down so he'll leave you alone (which is what I did). So we made it to the porch, and they weren't home. As we're leaving, before we're off the porch, he runs at us- but his chain BREAKS.  That was the second time in my life where I have been so terrified that I couldn't feel my legs.  Luckily, he didn't know how to get up the porch, but it was only a matter of time.  We said a prayer, thought of some things to do, (which included throwing a blanket on him and running for life for the truck and if he got too close I still had the rock and 6 years of soccer).  We ended up deciding to test out our faith.  We were just going to walk out there, and pray he didn't come after us.  As I'm weighing the options, I have this conversation with God that goes a little bit like this:
Me: "If we do this, will you protect us? I trust you, but I'm slightly terrified."
God: "If you trust me, leave the rock."
Me: "Aww, do I have to??"
So, we made it to the truck, and the dog didn't move till I was almost in the truck... we know have claw marks on the drivers' side door...  God will protect His servants!
Then, another panic attack happened on Sunday.  Elder Torres, who is an authority seventy (not a general authority seventy, but an authority seventy) show up randomly at Church for both of our branches- Laguna/Acoma branch, and the To'hajiilee branch.  He made a couple bold promises to both branches- including that if they did those invitations that he left with us, there wouldn't be enough room in the building for all the people that would come.  It was pretty epic!
Also, the other picture- that is my new companion, Elder Cornelison. 



He's from Richland Washington, he's been out for about 16 months or so, and to sum up his personality, imagine the happiest person on earth combined with my cousin, Levi, and boom, you have Elder Cornelison.  He's a beast, and he's picking up on the area really fast- especially because half of the area is related, whether it be through clan or a blood relative, it's really confusing.  The joys of serving around people who didn't know about the word 'cousin' so they would call each other 'brother' or 'sister' when they are actually cousins.  XD
Quick joke/spiritual thought:  
Two married brothers are talking about their wives to each other:
Bro 1: "Man, my wife treats me like a god!"
Bro 2: "What, she treats you like a king and worships you?"
Bro 1: "No, she ignores me until she needs me."
Is prayer your steering wheel or your flat tire?
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!  :)

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I distinctly remember July was last year!! ;)

Hola, family!
Tis been a swell week down in the land of enchantment!   A couple unusual experiences, I can't think of any right now, but know that they happen!  We went on exchanges twice this last week, and for the first one I got to eat some oryx (see picture below for more info) or however you spell it (autocorrect's not saving me here), but I got to eat some (in meatloaf form) with one of our active member families/part member families. It was pretty tasty! 

 
This coming week is transfers- meaning transfers is tomorrow, we found out last week what's going on, and I'm staying in Laguna for at least another 6 weeks.  My companion, Elder Jackman, is going to Socorro, New Mexico, so my new comp will be Elder Cornelison, the most cheerful person I've ever known!  He's a beast, and it's going to be a lot of fun!
We had a less-active that we've been unable to meet with come to church yesterday, it was awesome!  He's been struggling to decide between the Native religion and us, and he's been choosing the Native religion for as long as I've been here, but he and his wife just showed up out of the blue yesterday!  We don't know why, but we do know that it was incredible!
I think I'm going to be a pro gardener/weeder when I get back, for service we weed a lot (a LOT) for people, but we're weeding their front yard, because it's too expensive/a lot of work for grass and such out here in the Land Down Under Colorado.  That's alright, though, it's a lot of good practice, and adjusting the schedule so we're not becoming crispy missionaries (in my case I'd be a baked potato), it's bueno fun!
Improve yourself everyday, you don't have time to waste wittling away the hours of the day!  Every moment is a moment that could've been used to help someone-even if it is "just a smile". 
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The unexpected unexpectedly happened....expectedly

Hola family and friends!
A lot of things happened this week, so focus, Dory, focus as there is a lot of names to be given, puns to unleash, and quotes to share and this is the last time we'll be able to talk before the test next week.  ;)
Tuesday was our Bible study, and the first picture is the group that showed up.  


In the front is our branch president, President Begay and his wife right next to him.  Alva is right next to her, and the two people in between Elder Jackman and I are her daughter, RuthAnn and granddaughter, Taylor. RuthAnn has been less-active for a guesstimated 10 years at least (Taylor isn't a member), and she moved back to Laguna, the village of Casa Blanca, to get out of a rough situation. They now live in a "barn" that is probably barely bigger than the cars you all drive, and they had to get all the mice out and even then they wake up in the middle of the night with spiders on them.  But we helped them a little bit with the cleaning and we'll be weeding for them this week.  They ended up coming to the Bible Study (this week was Christ's baptism), and RuthAnn shared quite a bit and said that her moving back here is her gentle reminder from God to read the scriptures and come closer to him, it was an awesome spiritual experience.  Near the end of the study, Elder Jackman then felt that we needed to ask Taylor what she feels.  She responded and said something similar to, "I want to follow the path of Jesus Christ and be baptized."  The Spirit came in and basked in the 10 seconds of silence that followed.  We will be meeting with them this week to begin the lessons and figure out when a good date for her baptism will be. :D
Then Wednesday happened.  I almost got away with not telling anyone that it was my birthday, but we went to the senior center, where within five seconds of being there, Elder Jackman started the wildfire that happens when you tell one older lady a secret and she has a bunch of friends there: that lady asked me how old I was turning, then she guessed 16.  I thought she was joking, but I guess I'm only good at sensing jokes, not seriousness.  That sums up most of that day. XD
One of the ladies there, an investigator named Theresa, found out and went and made me a cake and brought it to the relief society activity, which is the second picture, the strawberry cake.  It was a nice surprise, and I would've been fine without the cake, but it was really nice.  She said she was my mom for the day because she made the cake. XD


Now we jump to Saturday.  We had been helping Theresa with her mom's 93 birthday party that was going to be Saturday so when it came time for the party to actually start, she said how grateful she was for the people showing up and everything... then she said, "Oh, before I forget, I want to introduce two of my friends, Elder Jackman and Elder Dial.  They're from the Mormon church and they have helped a lot with this party.  If you need any help with yard work or house work, contact them because they'll help and they'll share some of the word of God from the Bible with you."  We were completely caught off guard, but it was awesome to have an investigator do that without prompting!
Picture three: that is one investigator, Becky.  She has been taught for over a year, and she has only one thing holding her back from being baptized: she's been smoking for 50 years. This is the relationship we have with her.  She gets mad at us if we don't act ourselves around her or if we don't treat her house like our own.  She goes in for surgery this week, and we might not be able to see her for 2 weeks, at least, but with transfers happening while she'll be gone, we decided to get pictures now just to be safe. :) 


Sorry this one is such a long one, but know that I love you all, and there has been a lot of good things happening here and there, I'm sure!  Keep a smile on your face, and don't ever try to be someone you're not- but try to become a better you today than you were yesterday!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

6-12-17

Happy birthday in May to:

Grandma D
Grandpa Crook
Jakeb W
Todd
Hope it was awesome!!

To answer the question that I knew all of you wanted to know but nobody really asked, this first picture shows how dusty and dirt-y this area is.  I had cleaned my shoes literally the day before, and this is what happens.  XD


The next picture, answers the age-old question: How do you fit 3 people on one bike?  Now you know.  Those are 3 kids, age 13, 11, and 10.  They are awesome, and hilarious!  One thing holding them back, is that they sleep in... so it's hard for them to come to church.  We've been helping them to read the Book of Mormon everyday- or even to listen to it, which is what Gaybert, the 13 year old, does, and he's awesome, we're working on getting him to the temple!


Everything is going swell down here!  We took the relief society president of the To'hajiilee branch to a less active that lives on the top of a mesa, in the area we classify as "Timbuktu" because it's about 20 minutes from the nearest civilization, if it can even be called civilization, because it's a flock of housen that is as many houses as Brentway is... yeah, the people live really close together out here. ;)  But they were talking in Navajo for 85% of the time, partly because that less-active doesn't speak English very well, partly because it was more effective to communicate that way for her.  It was flipping awesome!
The stake conference with Elder K. Brett Natress of the 70 was pretty awesome, he was a mission president of the Gilbert Arizona Mission when he was called to be a General Authority 70, and he was at the temple rededication in Idaho Falls this last week.  It was pretty sweet!  

Recently, I've been thinking about the difference between guilt and discouragement:  Guilt is what God created to motivate us to change and to become better.  Discouragement is what Satan uses to prevent us from trying again- to destroy our hope and faith in ourselves and in Christ.  It makes sense why Satan wants to destroy our hope and faith in Christ, but why in ourselves??  Because the belief in ourselves, namely that we are children of God and that He loves us, is what motivates us to even want to believe in Christ!  When we know who we are and our relationship with God, that's when "[We] can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us]" (Phillipians 4:13) and when "... with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37).
"If your self worth is dependent on anything other than your relationship with Christ, you are in deep trouble."                                   -Hyrum Smith, (not Joseph's brother, but a different one)
That being said, why do you think the first song in the primary song book is "I am a Child of God"??
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!!  :)

Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, June 5, 2017

The beginning of the freakishly-hot months

Hola, dear family and friends! 
This week was pretty bueno.  I don't really remember what happened but it was good, as it usually is in the service of the Lord. :)
Oh, I know! There's a thing that exists, and it's called "Faith dinners".  When you don't have very much money(broke), you go to a restaurant and pray that someone will pay for your food.  We did not do that this week, but we pretty much ran out of food.  Next thing we know, the Branch clerk in the Laguna branch tells us that he'll bring us food and desserts every weekend, and two members called us and said, "Aren't you coming over?  We signed up to have you over for dinner [or lunch]."  The best part was, was that we were thinking, "well, we have enough that we can do it".  God definitely takes care of those in His service!
Next we made a family search account with a less active member who has records of her family history oozing out of the wazoo. If you want to see the Spirit of Elijah in action, create a familysearch.org account with someone who has records of her family history account oozing out of the wazoo.  She wouldn't let us leave for 45 minutes!  She even offered us dinner (which is good, because we didn't really have much to choose from back at the trailer) to keep us doing something while she was putting her parents and grandparents information.
This weekend is going to be sweet!  It's stake conference, and we are having a general authority come, his name is Elder K. Brett Nattress of the Seventy.  It's going to be incredible!
Everything is going fantasticly, so make every day a good day up there in "Potato-land" and surrounding areas. :)
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Thursday, June 1, 2017

MAYbe May is almost over

Yep.  I ran out of puns. 
Picture number one: We were doing service for a member, helping her build her chicken coop, and we found this poor guy... I guess he's pretty holy, right??  He seemed pretty dehydrated.  I don't think that it was pretty good for his health.  ;)


Picture number two: we were at an investigator's house on one of the Spanish land grants, where they have an open grazing rule/law/thingy.  That silver truck is ours, so I almost had a quick-draw with the cow. You know, the quick-draw from the old Wild West movies??  Yeah, I had mercy on the cow, though, so I didn't do it.  I would've won, though.  XD

As for the rest of the week, twas pretty fantastic.  We went on exchanges with Elder Snow and Elder Schraedel, and it was pretty fun! I got to help prepare for a baptism that they had on Tuesday, it was quite the adventure.
We also got to go on splits with our Branch Presidency in the Laguna/Acoma branch, which is really unusual to do, but it happened!  It was beneficial to help them see what we see with the people that we teach, and to see how they see those people! 
Then... we didn't have water for most of a day- no showers or anything!  Don't worry, we told our branch president about it, and he let us go to his house in the morning to get cleaned up and everything, two hours before we went on splits. 
It's been a lot of fun and a lot of amazingness has happened this week, including us getting permission and preparing for a Bible Study on a weekly basis!  And, when school starts up again, they're going to start a seminary class for the youth out here, with the missionaries as the teachers! I might be a seminary teacher!!! ;)  Now, back to the Bible Study, because we're doing things about that today.  We are teaching from the New Testament, specifically about Christ's life, following the Bible Videos.  Today is the first day of it, we teach the first one tonight.  Guess what that means today is???   Yep, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE.  XD  Which leads me to my spiritual thought for the day:
Lehi's dream of the tree of life contained in 1 Nephi 8.  But, I'll be going to when Nephi has the same vision (including the interpretation) as found in 1 Nephi 11.  When Nephi is shown the tree of life and is asked what he desires, he responds in verse 11 that he wants to know the interpretation.  That being said, if there are no coincidences (and there aren't!) why, in verses 12-21, would Nephi be shown the Christmas story??  Simple- what is the love of God the Father??  Go to John 3:16-17.  THAT is why Nephi was shown the Christmas Story, why we invite people to come to Christ. Because God sent His son for us because HE LOVES US. Don't ever forget it!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!!

Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, May 22, 2017

I don't know about you, but I MAY be feeling 22 (ooo-ooo)

I hope you all have realized that I have been trying to do puns as my subject line for the month of May, I may or may not have quoted a Taylor Swift song right there... but I've been running out of ideas.  Good thing I only have one more week of May puns, then all is well!

As for the rest of the week, we had interviews with President Guffey, which was amazing!  He's such an inspired leader, he's exactly the influence I need at this time of my life!
Next, the mission has been working more to focus on the mid-teens to YSA age people to teach, but we don't know very many in our area that fit that type...  But we are now going to start teaching one who is! His name is Raven, and we've been trying to meet with his older brother, Gabe Jr., for a couple weeks, and again this last week when he went over, Gabe wasn't home.  Raven was babysitting Gabe's kids, so we talked to him a little bit on his porch... More specifically, Elder Jackman talked to him on his porch, I was keeping his 3 year-old niece entertained so he could feel the Spirit more as the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was being taught.  We're going to meet with him again this week, I'll let you know how that goes!
Also, I understand why Dad likes farming/gardening now!  It's pretty fun (I still don't quite like weeding, but everything else is fun!)
Now, for the thought of the day:  President Uchtdorf has said that, "Exaltation is our goal; discipleship is our journey."  We sing a song that says how we become disciples of Christ: "As I have loved you, love one another, by this shall men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another."  That being said, and in the words of President Guffey, "If you don't have love for one another, whose disciple are you?"  What are you doing for your fellow children of God to show you love them?? Or, what aren't you doing?? Now I ask, will you do one thing better to show your love for someone today? Not tomorrow, not some day, today?  After all, there are only seven days in a week and "Some day" is not one of them! 
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!
--
Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I called you MAYbe??

 Hey-o family and friends!! 

Here's a list of skills that I didn't think I'd gain while on a mission:
1) corsage making (yes, that picture is one that I made [the other ones I made were crappy, so no pictures for you])


2) list-making is still being learned
Anyways, this week was a great week!  We had zone conference on Friday, and that was amazing!  Then we went on exchanges, so I was in Albuquerque with Elder Nelson, while Elder Jackman and Elder Fonua were in Laguna.  It was a lot of fun!  Transfers are tomorrow, so I'm not going anywhere, and neither is Elder Jackman- we're both staying in this area!  It'll be a lot of fun, and there is a lot of work to do now that we both know the area pretty well!
Also, Happy Mother's Day yesterday, Mom!  It was awesome to see you guys via skype!  Hope it was a good day for all you mothers!
We met with an investigator this week, her name is Marie, and she is an amputee, she doesn't have a left leg below the knee.  What does she tell us about her leg?  It's name is "Bob the Knob".  
She feel a couple weeks ago, so her kids called her and asked how Bob was doing.  She responded by saying that, "He's had a headache for two weeks, but he's alright." XD  It's pretty epic!

Everything has been going pretty swell down here in Laguna, Acoma, and To'hajiilee!  I know that this is a short letter, but just know that God needs you!  He always has and He always will! Don't ever give up!!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Friday, May 12, 2017

MAYbe it's Mother's Day this week

This week has been fantastic!  A throw down or two from the Spirit, exchanges, and slightly sleep deprived, but hey, that's the life of a missionary often times.  XD
We have a 10 year old investigator, Roman, who's mom won't let him get baptized yet, and he struggles a lot.  He didn't/doesn't really feel loved, so we have just been visiting him with the goal in mind that we are going to love him, and it's been really different the last couple times!  He's given me a stuffed animal- a panda (THE big fat panda  ;) and before, he would ask that we keep our lessons to "under 30 seconds". The only problem with that is that he gets super distracted so we'd end up being there for around an hour and only get 4 sentences in on the lesson that we wanted to share.  But yesterday, when we said that we could keep it short, he told us that we could go "full length" if we wanted to.  He still got super distracted, but it was even cooler!  For that lesson we had planned to sing "I am a Child of God" with him, but he had a friend/cousin over, so when we told him that we were going to sing, he pulled out a toy piano, got his friend/cousin and his little sister there... and we sang it with our little band!  I played the melody on the piano and we were singing also while he had a rattle thingy that he used. It was a lot of fun, but that's not even the best part! He sees praying as not really worth it because it "takes too long" so we ask him to say the closing prayer most days, hoping that that will change.  Except for yesterday, when we asked him and he said no, his friend that was there offered to say it, but he didn't know how.  So Roman taught him!  Elder Jackman and I weren't mad in the least bit, that was even cooler than we thought!

Then we went to his aunt's house and found out how we can help her return to activity- family history!  She has 4 generations (when I say 4 generations back, I mean she knows who here great great great grandparents are and has records for ALL of their descendants) ready to do the work for them, she just hasn't put them in the computer yet, so we know what we're going to be helping her with!!

Next we went to a different 10 year-old's house, Dylan, a recent convert whose family has bounced in and out of activity, but who is going to start taking temple prep classes.  We found out that Dylan's dad, Glenn, who struggled occasionally with a drinking problem, and his wife went to the temple grounds and walked around- just them as a couple!  They are excited to go to the temple, and they would be the first in either of their families to go through the temple and be sealed as a family!
They did a musical fireside last night for the 4 Albuquerque stakes, along with the Rio Rancho stake and the Los Lunas stake, and there were so many people there!  It was awesome, even though it made me miss my viola a little bit more than usual, but that's alright!
The rest of the week was still fantastic, but I figured I'd share all the miracles that happened just yesterday.
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!!  :)

Elder Eli James Dial

PS- this is not the panda that Roman gave me, this is the new one he got.  XD

Saturday, May 6, 2017

MAY the odds be ever in your favor

Happy birthdays in April to:
Tyler
Tayvn
Jaron
Mom!!
Happy birthday!! Hope you enjoyed it!!
As for the pictures, there's one of the sunset, the next one is how you say "hello" in Navajo (the part that looks like 4 different words, yeah, that's hello) and the third one is the hike we went on as a zone last week. It was a lot of fun, but it was super windy, so I enjoyed every second of it. :)



The title, is because we had a great week, even though we didn't have the best of luck catching people home.  We believe that part of it was that we went to the wrong village on the wrong day type of thing, but there was also the "Gathering of Nations" on Friday and Saturday held in Albuquerque, so a lot of people from here went.  We wish that we could've gone, but we couldn't.  Oh well, there is still work to do! 
In this area, we go to a senior center and they have a tendency to give us "Indian names".  To give you a little background, the Elder that was here before me, his name meant "potato" cause he was from Idaho, and Elder Jackman's means chili because he loves chili, but mine... I'm not going to tell you what it means, but I'll tell you how to pronounce it: ha-da-may-osh. I'll give you a hint, though- it sticks with the theme of food, and it's pretty hilarious. XD
This week we've been focusing on how to show our love for people, specifically a ten-year-old that we're teaching named Roman.  The kid is a beast (he's reading/read War and Peace and Physics for Dummies), but he struggles to pay attention (more than most 10 year olds)  so we decided that we were going to spend more time with him, text him more often just to see how he's doing, and it's been working!  He sent us a smiley face once in the last week [just one like this (:  ] and then another one, so we just sent him a couple back, and it turned into a battle of who can make the best smiley face (without emojis, cause we don't get/can't do those) which ended when we sent him a stick figure.  He's progressing more than before, and it's a lot of fun!
Don't ever forget that this work is all about love!  "For God so loved [YOU] that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved."     If God the Father can sacrifice His Only Begotten Son so that you can be happy for eternity, how come you can't sacrifice Sunday Night Football for Him?  March Madness? Pinterest? That TV show, that book series, whatever is keeping you from progressing? So, ask yourself, really, truly ask yourself, "What is keeping me from becoming closer to God?" Then, remember that you are sons and daughters of God for crying out loud!  You can do anything you set your mind to, you've just got to want it bad enough!  So don't give up, and don't give room to fear, because every time you do you lose room for love and for faith!  You can do it!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!
(Great is my love for you all!)

Elder Eli James Dial

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Service and Sunburns


This week was an awesome week!!  It started with exchanges with our zone leaders, so I was with Elder Fonua, and we got to go chicken hunting! That was an adventure all on it's own- fences were jumped and funny looks were seen, but after about 45 minutes we got the chicken!!

Then, this week was Earth day, so we got to spend 2 hours picking up trash, then we got fed lunch, and then spent two more hours painting for a member!  We spent most of the day in service clothes, and in the 80 degree sun.  That means this week, as a total, around 14 hours of service, including weeding, painting, picking up trash, and washing windows.  Twas a lot of fun!!
Also, on Saturday, we had a lady knock on our trailer door, and we found out that she was trying to help people come to Christ through song!  So we talked for a little bit, after which she sang to us a Spanish song about having a heart of clay, and then we sang "I am a Child of God" to her, and then we gave her an apple and an orange* and a copy of "The Living Christ", took a picture with her (cause that was a pretty cool/unique/weird experience and sent her off on her way!  (So there's the picture)

Yesterday, we had 3 less-active families that we're working with come to one branch, the Laguna/Acoma branch, for sacrament meeting,  and we haven't been able to meet with two of them for at least 2 weeks- so that was a miracle in and of itself!!
The To'hajiilee building for church, also, just got the internet!  You may not think of that as anything cool, (I mean, doesn't the internet go everywhere??)  but this branch has been lacking- you don't realize how influential the internet is church until you don't have it!!  Now we can be more effective as we teach others about family history- we just need a computer out there or something so we can teach them how to do their own family history and such!
Anyways, that's all I got for this week- a lot of miracles are happening, and it's sweet to see!!  This work is a work of miracles, so you better start believing in them, because you need to see the ones that are already happening in your life!!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Hola, all!

Hola, all!  (Happy Easter yesterday!!)
This week has been awesome!  To start off, I'll mention what happened yesterday.  we had lunch with a family that has been returning to activity, and their son is also a recent convert, but there was only one catch- it was Easter dinner combined with a baby shower, so 40 people were there.  We had Navajo tacos (my first one from an actual Navajo) and it was glorious! 
We also had exchanges last week, so Elder Snow came out here to Laguna with me, and Elder Jackman went to Albuquerque with Elder Schraedel, and it was a lot of fun!  I got lost once or twice, but hey, I'm still alive and everything is going good!  We met with an investigator that Elder Jackman and I have struggled to meet with, but the guy was drinking beer while we were there, so we don't know how effective that was.  He feels condemned because of some things he's done in war as a sniper, but we shared with him the story of Alma the younger, after that he asked us where it was and he's going to read it!  We were able to share with him that peace can come to us through Jesus Christ, and how Alma felt that through his experiences.  The Book of Mormon has the power to bring the Spirit into people's lives and that is going to change them so they can feel/remember who they are and that there is always hope!
Elder Jackman and I gave talks in To'hajiilee yesterday, and it was pretty goodish!  We didn't really have much time to prepare as we had exchanges on Friday/Saturday, but we did alright!  It was a lot of fun, but that was my 3rd time giving a talk since I've been in this area- 2nd one in that branch, and I've discovered that I don't really like giving talks as much as I used to in Shelley!  I prefer being in a classroom setting, but I'll get over it. 
Everything is going good here in Laguna, Acoma and To'hajiilee!  Christ did die for us, and don't ever forget just because Easter's past!  He's never forgotten you, so don't ever forget Him!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!!

--
Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, April 10, 2017

It's been April for a week??

So, before I forget, Happy Birthday to these people in the month of March:
Brooke, Hannah, Kimbal, Grant, and Allie!
Now for the pictures: this dog is the first dog that gave me a hug.  His owner is the former governor of the Pueblo of Laguna, (the one who helped come up with the Constitution for the Pueblo) and the best part is....... The dog's name is Obama..... That's right, I can say that I got a hug from Obama. XD


Next picture, is about a detail that I kinda forgot the area I'm serving in.... I live next to Mater and I've been to Radiator Springs.  Woot!!  :)

I've decided that one of the more difficult parts of missionary work is not seeing the results of your work.  But... not this week!  At the To'hajiilee branch on Sunday, instead of the usual 10-15 people, we had 30 people there (and none were visitors from Albuquerque!)- one less active family that wants to go to the temple finally came, and a recent convert and his family also came after his mom is able to walk now after having knee surgery.  It was pretty sweet!
We've also been gaining a lot of member trust, so much so that they are trying to get a youth activity put together to bring some younger families back (our stake president said [and it's true] that if we don't get more young people out here, then we won't have a branch, because all the active members will be dead).  That, and, we very well might become seminary teachers!!  That'll be a lot of fun!
Everything else is going awesome!! We visited a mother and daughter who are less active because they got offended, and everytime we've gone over, they were not interested and just nonchalant about us being there.  This last time we visited them, they were watching golf, but we just asked about golf.  Then we shared a message with them and they opened up and were more of themselves- we actually felt like we were their friends! 
The work must go on, and it's going to move forward with or without us, so just keep loving people and being their friend! 
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!!

Elder Eli James Dial

Friday, April 7, 2017

Transfer Week.....again?

This first picture is the equivalent (in size) to the beast from The Sandlot.  His name is Lunch Bucket, he's the nicest dog you ever did meet, but he's intimidating as....  whatever is intimidating...  ;)


The next picture is of the miracle that happened in my area when I was on exchanges, so I only got to see the remnant of it, hence this picture.

Next order of business, shout out to those who did the challenge that I left last week, but I am still sending this email to everyone, because I didn't want to email only four people this week, but that just means that those four people get a picture or two that the rest of the people won't.  As long as you have something SPECIFIC in mind as to what you are going to do to apply something you learned from conference, (and, if you actually do it)  than you're still doing awesome!
As for this week, I went on exchanges twice, once with Elder Schraedel, who just finished his training, so I helped him be a little more confident in his abilities, and then with Elder Nelson, one of our zone leaders, who is from Ririe, so we were both cheering when the Pocatello temple was announced. 
Which brings me to General Conference. 
Twas awesome, I made a list of things that I am going to be doing to apply what I learned, so it'll be a lot of fun! My favorite talk was either by President Uchtdorf or Elder Holland (yeah, typical) but those were what I needed to hear. 
Another thing that is awesome from this last week is found on the front page of www.mormon.org  and you all better know what it is and watch all two minutes of it.  Then, share it to social media, because there are people that are waiting for you to share that video, because you never know who is going through a hard time, and which video they're going to watch.  So share it, because it's just that awesome to be that part in someone's life.  :)
As far as transfers go, I'm staying here with Elder Jackman, it'll be a lot of fun as we work our hardest to see miracles- they're everywhere, and the best miracle you can see is the one that happens in your own life- so keep doing what is right because those are the things that will make that miracle happen!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, March 27, 2017

It's General Conference Week!!!

As far as this week goes, it's been pretty awesome!  Elder Jackman and I have been teaching more in unity and teaching to the person's needs better, so it's been more fun!
This week, there was also a wedding that we got to go to, Vanesia and Julian, Vanesia is a less-active member that started coming to church with her Catholic fiance for the last month, and it was pretty cool to be there!  We were introduced to a bunch of people who don't believe the same things we believe, but they weren't very interested.  But at least a lot of people now know who we are and that we are nice!
We had a meeting as a zone/stake yesterday with Elder Torres, an Area General Authority.  The reason being is that this stake has been chosen by Elder Torres to be a pilot stake- we're trying something new in this stake to help some less-active priesthood holders to become more active.  If it works, it'll go to the rest of the stakes in the area- and it'll be awesome!  I'll keep you posted as to what happens and how it goes!
Nothing much else has happened this week, but there is General Conference this week!  Also, the Easter Initiative from the Church starts on Friday!  It's a great video, and you all better share it to your social media profiles!!  And you best be watching General conference!  Next week, you all better let me know where you shared the video (instagram, Twitter, Facebook, email, text, snapchat, carrier pigeon [however you do that], whatever it is!) , and what you are going to change in your life to follow the words of the prophets more in your life! (because, you know, that is the reason that they wouldn't have the sacrament for a two-week period, to become better from what you learned)  I'll follow up next week! (and I'll keep names of the people who don't let me know, and you'll be excluded from the weekly email.  ;)
Keep being you, no matter what anybody else says, and keep practicing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in your life, because that's what was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and what is still revealed through the prophets today!!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!
--
Elder Eli James Dial

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Big Feast!!!!!

First off, feast your eyes on this sunset as we were driving to Albuquerque the other day!

(there has already been one movie quote, Merinda and Holly, you're not allowed to say where it's from, but you can bravely say it in the accent that it is originally in. XD  ;)
This week has been awesome!  We had Zone Conference last Thursday and it was a great spiritual feast, as always.  They only had two zones there, so it was a solid 30 missionaries, but that just meant that that there was more opportunity for participation. After the conference, Elder Jackman and I just went to town (if, you know, there were any towns here ;) with the work- we showed our personality with people more, (pretty sure it shocked some of the people) but we still were focused on our purpose- so we strengthened our fellow brothers and sisters with the gospel of Jesus Christ and a feast of the Spirit!  Twas fun!!
Now, I'm pretty sure you've noticed by now that something happened this week that was pretty feastly.  As missionaries, we call it a feast day.  A little background first: in this area we cover To'hajiilee (part of Navajo nation) Laguna, and Acoma, all part of the reservation, but different, of course.  To'hajiilee is super spread out so we named the different areas/cluster of houses, which are: East Housing, Lower West, Upper West, The Shire, Middle Earth and Timbuktu (Judge us all you want, I didn't even help name them- except for Middle Earth ;). In Laguna and Acoma, they are split up by villages, so Laguna has: Paraje, Paguate, Old Laguna, New Laguna, Casa Blanca, Encinal, Mesita, and San Fidel.  Acoma has: Acomita, Sky City, New York (that's original ;) and a lot of others that I don't know, but we're technically not allowed to go on Acoma because of some bum missionaries like six years ago.  Each of these villages has religious activities (for the Native religion) that they either close down the village for it, or open the village to tourists.  Multiple times have some villages been closed, so we couldn't go in.
Except for yesterday.
What happens at these feast days, I can describe to you Idahoans really easily-  it's Spud Day, with Native dances but no spud tug or parade. Well, how do you get free food?  That's why we call it feast day.  Because everybody prepares a HUGE amount of food (around as much as Thanksgiving) and they have their dinner table ready, but they leave their doors open.  What makes it a feast?  Here's a few simple steps:
1)  Walk up to a random house
2)  Let yourself in through the open door
3)  Sit down at dinner table 
4)  Start eating whatever is on the table
5)  When you're done, you may leave the house
6)  REPEAT 
(If you walk into a house, but don't eat [or eat very much], they get offended)

You can walk right in to anybody's house, and they'll have food for you, waiting to be feasted upon.  It's missionary heaven for this area, not because the members don't feed us very much, but because we're not allowed to knock doors in Laguna or Acoma.  It's pretty similar to dinner and a movie, but for us it's diabeetus and new investigators (hopefully).  Yesterday's feast was in the villages of New and Old Laguna.  So we got to walk around and talk to people who started talking to us first.  You may think that we're bums, but it's not gonna help people like you if you're preaching one religion at another religion's activity, sooo... we were just trying to be seen, spark some interest, and eat so much that we skipped dinner... but it was a lot of fun!!
Anyways, remember about General Conference coming up soon... Next week!  Check out the new First Vision video if you haven't yet at history.lds.org, and the new Easter video comes out the day before conference starts!
God loves you, so don't ever forget that you are His child!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!
--
Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, March 13, 2017

It's a Monday

It's been an awesome week here in Laguna, Acoma and To'hajiilee!  Elder Jackman and I have been following the Spirit better here, and it's been a lot of fun!  There's always stuff to do here, but it's difficult only because we have a limit to how many miles we can use.  That's the sad part.
I don't really have that much to say, but that we went on exchanges last week with the zone leaders, so I was with Elder Fonua in Albuquerque, in the YSA branch for the stake, and it was a crap ton fun!  There's a lot of work happening up here, (I say up here, because it's north of El Paso) but yeah, tis awesome!!
As for something that I learned this week:  we all have something that we "envision" ourselves to be: whether we want to be the best in this one thing so that people will see that we're just sooooooo awesome (be it sports, school, or even church).  Have I got a newsflash for you!  The only one holding you back from reaching your potential, is you!!  You can do it, and remember to help others to do the same, because by doing that, you are in actuality helping to achieve yours!!  Don't ever forget the power that a smile has for someone- even for yourself!!!!!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

--
Elder Eli James Dial

Friday, March 10, 2017

Post Temple Monday

For this picture, that is my zone in Albuquerque West:  It's small compared to Chamizal, but it's awesome just the same! The other one, that's a sunset. In case you couldn't tell.  XD



Also, Happy Birthday Dillon and Makayla for the month of February! Hope it was awesome! (and I hope there was no one else's birthday in February that I forgot, sorry!!)
This week has been a struggle- that's because it was fast Sunday and then the temple trip the next day!  It was difficult this past week for that reason- a lot of people weren't home, we didn't quite know what to do at times, but it was sweet the last 3 days!  We asked one of the branches to join us in a fast for a lady named Becky- to help her stop smoking (she's been smoking since she was in her teens, she's now in her 60's).  She knows the church is true (and has for awhile), but she just has a hard time with giving up smoking.  So Elder Jackman and I decided to ask the branch to join us in fasting for her, then we went to the temple the next day with her in mind, and it's gonna be awesome, as soon as we can meet with her! (Today, hopefully!)
The temple trip: twas glorious.  We were in the chapel, where we heard from Sister Guffey, then President Guffey, then President Webb of the temple presidency.  Before that, though, we had an opening song and prayer, where I was volunteered *cough cough* Elder Cota *cough cough* to be the chorister/conductor/person thingy.  It was awesome!! (Not the conducting part, the singing part)  Imagine 40 missionaries, and about 20 other people who drove them up there from El Paso, singing "Families Can be Together Forever"... like they believed it!!  They didn't sing it like, "oh, we're in the temple, we need to be reverent, so let's mumble the words"  NOPE.  They sang it like the way you should sing it, exactly like, "I know this is true, this is in the Lord's house, no better way to show my love for Him, I know it!!"  It was awesome!

It's sweet down here, the only downside is that it gets cold here (I walked outside this morning and I could see my breath!  What is this, Idaho??? ;)  It's great (but not spacious or terrible) down here serving in a couple land grants and nations (technically that's what they're called. :) 
Don't ever forget the love that He has for you and who you really are!!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!!!!

Elder Eli James Dial